Watershed Alliance Rates CLA Highest, Suggests $162,050 Grant Award

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The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance rated a funding request from the Chautauqua Lake Association highest of 12 approved last week and asked the Ralph C. Sheldon and Chautauqua Region Community foundations to fund the CLA at $162,050.

The three evaluating groups grading the 12 approved requests included staff members of the alliance, its science committee and an outside third party, EcoLogic LLC, of Cazenovia, NY. The CLA and the alliance’s own request for $7,550 for the Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Invasive Species Early Detection Volunteer Taskforce each received the highest scores, at 74 percent.

The CLA, with a projected 2019 budget of $1.07 million, sought $220,000 from the foundations via the alliance’s evaluation process for the CLA’s annual aquatic plant harvesting and lake maintenance programs. The $162,050 funding could extend the plant harvesting time period in 2019, alliance officials said.

“We’re honored and pleased that three expert and objective parties rated our request so highly and approved it,” said Douglas Conroe, the CLA’s executive director. “We see this as an endorsement for our environmentally sound lake stewardship and look forward to again sharing the CLA’s years of effectiveness with the entire lake community next year.”

The other 10 grant evaluations ranged from 61 percent to 40, 35, 35 and 34 percent for four herbicide application projects in the towns of Busti, Ellery, North Harmony and Ellicott, respectively. Busti requested $70,000; Ellery asked for $135,000; North Harmony sought $90,000; and Ellicott wanted $54,000. The alliance approved asking the foundations to fund each town at $10,000.

In addition, alliance officials said the $40,000 for the towns will be allocated elsewhere if they do not receive appropriate herbicide application permits by June 1, 2019.

“The CLA’s services are considered critical,” Board Chair Pierre Chagnon said of the alliance’s recommendation.

The other six evaluated applications were: the CLA’s Floating Vegetation and HAB Scum Skimmer Procurement, rated at 61 percent, for a request of $187,000 and approval of $0; the Town of Chautauqua’s Mobitrac Shoreline Clean Up, at 60 percent, for a request of $90,000 and approval of $0; the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, at 59 percent, for a request of $26,401 for its Chautauqua Lake Tributary Conservation and Enhancement Program, which was approved for $26,401; the CWC’s Starve the Algae Save the Lake! Program, at 58 percent, with a requested and approved amount of $64,000; the CLA’s Channel Dredging of Dewittville

Creek’s Chautauqua Lake Delta, at 56 percent, with a request for $150,000 and approval of $0; the Alliance Community Development Platform, 43 percent, with a requested amount of $8,628 and approval of $0.